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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    PirateCaptain

    Join Date
    Sep 2016

    Default Variant (Spell-less) Warlock

    So, based on THIS THREAD, it was requested that someone try building a Warlock class which focused on Invocations, and removed the spell casting ability.
    This is... kinda(?) that Warlock. The current Warlock class is a huge mess; there are no real class features beyond choosing your Patron and your Pact, then choosing Spells, and then choosing Invocations. Lots of choice, but no straightforward "you get this at Level3, and this at Level14," and the trouble is that in spite of all those choices, there are quite a few which are basically mandatory for anyone who wants to create a workable Warlock. The intent of this homebrew is to make a little more sense of the Warlock and make it more similar to the other classes while, at the same time, largely removing the Pact Magic as requested. So here we go:

    Cantrips and Invocations by Level
    Level | Cantrips Known | Invocations Known
    01 | 2 | -
    02 | 2 |2
    03 | 2 |3
    04 | 3 |3
    05 | 3 |4
    06 | 3 |4
    07 | 3 |5
    08 | 3 |5
    09 | 3 |6
    10 | 4 |6
    11 | 4 |7
    12 | 4 |7
    13 | 4 |8
    14 | 4 |8
    15 | 4 |9
    16 | 4 |9
    17 | 4 |10
    18 | 4 |10
    19 | 4 |11
    20 | 4 |11

    Class Features
    Hit Dice: 1d8 per warlock level
    Hit Points at First Level: 8 + your Constitution modifier
    Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d8 (or 5) + your Constitution modifier per warlock level after first

    Proficiencies
    Armor: Light Armor
    Weapons: Simple Weapons
    Tools: None
    Saving Throws: Wisdom, Charisma
    Skills: Choose two skills from Arcana, Deception, History, Intimidation, Investigation, Nature, and Religion

    Equipment
    You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted to you by your background
    • (a) a light crossbow and 20 bolts or (b) any simple weapon
    • (a) a scholar's pack or (b) a dungeoneer's pack
    • Leather armor, any simple weapon, and two daggers


    Otherworldly Patron
    At first level, you have struck a bargain with an otherworldly being of your choice: the Archfey, the Fiend, the Great Old One, or the Undying - you gain one of the following abilities at 1st level

    The Archfey
    You have the ability to project the beguiling and fearsome presence of the Fey. As an action, you can cause each creature in a 10-foot cube originating from you to make a Wisdom saving throw. The DC for this save is 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier. The creautres that fail their saving throws are all charmed or frightened by you (your choice) until the end of your next turn.
    - Once you use this feature, you can't use it again until you finish a short or long rest.

    The Fiend
    Starting at 1st level, when you reduce a hostile creature to 0 hit points, you gain temporary hit points equal to your Charisma modifier + your warlock level (minimum 1)

    The Great Old One
    Starting at first level, your alien knowledge gives you the ability to touch the minds of others. You can communicate telepathically with any creature you can see within 30 feet of you. You don't need to share a language with the creature for it to understand your telepathic utterances, but the creature must be able to understand at least one language. This communication is only one way - the creature cannot reply to you telepathically.

    The Undying
    You can cast the Spare the Dying cantrip, as a Warlock cantrip.
    Additionally, you regain hit points equal to 1d8 + your Constitution Modifier (minimum of 1) when you succeed on a death saving throw.
    - Once you have used this feature, you cannot use it against until you finish a long rest.

    Spell Casting
    At first level you gain the Eldritch Blast cantrip, and one other cantrip from the Warlock spell list. At subsequent levels, you will learn additional cantrips as shown on the Warlock table. Your warlock spell save DC is equal to 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier.
    Spoiler: Modified Eldritch Blast
    Show

    evocation cantrip
    Casting Time: One Action
    Range: 120 feet
    Components: V, S
    Duration: Intantaneous

    Make a ranged spell attack against the target. On a hit, the target takes 1d10 force damage.


    Eldritch Invocations
    At 2nd level, you gain two eldritch invocations of your choice. Your invocation options are detailed at the end of the class description. When you gain certain warlock levels, you gain additional invocations of your choice, as shown in the Invocations Known column of the Warlock table.
    Additionally, when you gain a level in this class, you can choose one of the invocations you know and replace it with another invocation that you could learn at that level.

    Warlock Pact
    At 3rd level, you choose a pact granted to you by patron: Pact of the Blade, Chain, or Tome, all detailed at the end of the class description. Your pact choice grants you features at 3rd level, and again 6th, 11th, and 15th level.

    Ability Score Improvement
    When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th, and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you cant increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.

    Improved Eldritch Blast
    At 5th level, whenever you cast Eldritch Blast, it fires an additional beam at the target. Make a separate attack roll for each beam.

    Warlock Pact

    Pact of the Blade
    Bonus Proficiencies
    When you choose this Archetype at 3rd level, you gain proficiency with medium armor, shields, and martial melee weapons.

    Pact Blade
    At 3rd level, you can use your action to create a pact weapon in your empty hand. You can choose the form that this melee weapon takes each time you create it (see chapter 5 for weapon options). While you wield this weapon, it counts as an Arcane Focus. This weapon also counts as magical for the purposes of overcoming resistance and immunity to nonmagical attacks and damage.

    Extra Attack
    Starting at 6th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.

    Ensorcelled Blade
    At 11th level, when you hit a creature with your pact weapon, it takes extra Necrotic damage equal to your Charisma modifier (minimum 1).

    Eldritch Wrath
    At 15th level, when you take the Attack action on your turn, you can cast Eldritch Blast as a bonus action. When cast in this way, being within 5 feet of an enemy does not impose disadvantage on your attack rolls with Eldritch Blast

    Pact of the Chain
    Familiar
    At 3rd level, you can cast the Find Familiar spell, and can cast it as a ritual.
    -When you cast the spell, you canchooseone of thenormal forms for your familiar, or one fo the following special forms: imp, pseudodragon, quasit, or sprite.
    -Additionally, when you take the Attack action, you can forgo one of your own attacks to allow your familiar to make one attack of its own.

    Master Summoner
    At 6th level, whenever you cast Find Familiar, rather than the normal forms, you can instead choose to bend a more powerful creature to your will. Choose a creature of the Demon, Devil, Aberrant, or Fey creature type with a Challenge Rating not greater than those shown on the following chart:
    Warlock Level | Challenge Rating
    06 | CR1
    07 | CR1
    08 | CR2
    09 | CR2
    10 | CR2
    11 | CR3
    12 | CR3
    13 | CR4
    14 | CR4
    15 | CR4
    16 | CR4
    17 | CR5
    18 | CR5
    19 | CR6
    20 | CR6

    Empowered Summons
    At 11th level, whenever you command your summoned creature to attack, it can make two attacks instead of one.

    Fury of the Chain Master
    At 15th level, you can command your summoned creature as a bonus action

    Pact of the Tome

    Spellcasting
    When you choose this pact at 3rd level, you gain the ability to cast spells. See chapter 10 for the general rules of spellcasting and chapter 11 for the Warlock spell list.
    Spell Slots The table below shows you how many spell slots you have to cast your spells of 1st level and higher. To cast one of these spells, you must expend a slot fo the spell's level or higher. You regain all expended spell slots when you finish a long rest.
    -When multiclassing into or out of Warlock, use a third of your Warlock level to determine spell slots.

    Level | Spells Known | 1st | 2nd | 3rd | 4th
    03rd | 03 | 2
    04th | 04 | 3
    05th | 04 | 3
    06th | 04 | 3
    07th | 05 | 4 | 2
    08th | 06 | 4 | 2
    09th | 06 | 4 | 2
    10th | 07 | 4 | 3
    11th | 08 | 4 | 3
    12th | 08 | 4 | 3
    13th | 09 | 4 | 3 | 2
    14th | 10 | 4 | 3 | 2
    15th | 10 | 4 | 3 | 2
    16th | 11 | 4 | 3 | 3
    17th | 11 | 4 | 3 | 3
    18th | 11 | 4 | 3 | 3
    19th | 12 | 4 | 3 | 3 | 1
    19th | 13 | 4 | 3 | 3 | 1

    Book of Secrets
    At 6th level, your patron grants you a grimoire known as The Book of Secrets. When you gain this feature, choose three cantrips from any class's spell list.

    Additionally, choose two 1st level spells that have the ritual tag from any class's spell list. The spells appear in the book and don't count agaisnt thenumber of spells you know. With your Book of Secrets in hand, you can cast these chosen spells as rituals. You cannot cast these spells any other way, except as rituals, unless you've learned them by some other means. You can also cast a warlock spell you know as a ritual if it has the ritual tag.
    - During your adventures, you can add other ritual spells to your Book of Secrets. When you find such a spell, you can add it to the book if the spell's level is equal to or less than half your warlock level (rounded up) and if you can spare the time to transcribe the spell. For each level of the spell, the transcription process takes hours and costs 50gp for the rare inks needed to inscribe it.

    If you lose your Book of Secrets, you can perform a 1-hour ceremony to receive a replacement from your patron. This ceremony can be performed during a short or long rest, and it destroys the previous book (including any additional rituals you had copied into it). Your Book of Secrets turns to ash when you die.

    Improved Eldritch Blast
    At 11th level, when you cast Eldritch Blast, it fires a total of three beams, and an additional beam at 17th level. Roll the attack for each beam separately.

    Eldritch Mastery
    At 16th level, choose two of your 1st level spells, or two of the rituals from your Book of Secrets. You can cast these spells at their lowest levels without expending a spell slot. By spending at least 8 hours in study, you can exchange one or both of these spells for different spells that you know, of the same levels.

    Warlock Invocations
    Eldritch Invocations which allows you to cast a spell, onl allows the spell to be cast at it's lowest level slot. Certain Invocations will state that they can be cast with a Warlock slot, for those who have chosen Pact of the Tome.

    The following Invocations are all unchanged from the Player's Handbook, except as noted above.

    • Armor of Shadows
    • Ascendant Step
    • Beast Speech
    • Beguiling Influence
    • Bewitching Whispers
    • Chains of Carceri
    • Devil's Sight
    • Dreadful Word
    • Eldritch Sight
    • Eldritch Spear
    • Eyes of the Rune Keeper
    • Fiendish Vigor
    • Gaze of Two Minds
    • Mask of Many Faces
    • Master of Myriad Forms
    • Minions of Chaos
    • Mire the Mind
    • Misty Visions
    • One With Shadows
    • Otherworldly Leap
    • Sculptor of Flesh
    • Sign of Ill Omen
    • THief of Five Fates
    • Visions of Distant Realms
    • Voice of the Chain Master
    • Whispers of the Grave
    • Witch Sight


    Pact Invocations


    Agonizing Blast
    prerequisite: Pact of the Tome
    -otherwise as PHB

    Swiftblade
    prerequisite: 5th level, Pact of the Blade
    You may cast haste, with yourself as the target.
    You cannot use this ability again until you finish a short or long rest.

    Entropic Riposte
    prerequisite: 6th level, Pact of the Blade
    When a creature makes an attack roll against you, you can use your reaction to impose disadvantage on that roll. If the attack misses you, your next attack against the target has advantage if you make it before the end of your next turn.
    You cannot use this feature again until you have finished a short or long rest.

    Create Thrall
    prerequisite: 14th level, Pact of the Chain
    You can use your action to touch an incapacitated humanoid. That creature is then charmed by you until a remove curse
    spell is cast on it, the condition is ended, or you use this feature again.
    You can communicate telepathically with the charmed creature as long as the two of you are on the same plane of existence.

    Patron Invocations


    Beguiling Defenses
    prerequisite: 10th level, Archfey
    You are immune to being charmed, and when another creature attempts to charm you, you can use your reaction to attempt to turn the charm back on that creature. The creature must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw with a DC equal to 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier or be charmed by you for 1 minute or until the creature takes damage.

    Thought Shield
    prerequisite: 10th level, Great Old One
    Your thoughts cannot be read by telepathy or other means unless you allow it. You also have resistance to Psychic damage, and whenever a creature deals psychic damage to you, that creature takes the same amount of damage that you do.

    Hurl Through Hell
    prerequisite: 14th level, Fiend
    On your turn, when you hit a creature with your attack, you can choose to use this feature to instantly transport the creature through the lower planes. The target vanishes.
    At the end of your next turn, the target returns to the space it previously occupied, or the nearest unoccupied space. If the target is not a Fiend, it takes 10d10 Psychic damage.
    You cannot use this feature again until you finish a long rest.

    Indestructible Life
    prerequisite: 14th level, Undying
    On your turn, you can use a Bonus Action to regain hit points equal to 1d8 + your warlock level. Additionally, if you put a severed body part of your back in place when using this feature, it reattaches.
    Once you use this feature, you cannot use it again until you finish a short or long rest.

    Invocations


    Misty Escape
    prerequisite: 6th level
    Whenever you take damage, you can cast Misty Step as a Reaction. Once you use this feature, you cannot use it again until you have finished a short or long rest.

    Dark One's Own Luck
    prerequisite: 6th level
    Whenever you roll an ability check or saving throw, after seeing the result but before any effects occur, you can choose to add a d10 to the result of your roll.
    You cannot use this feature again until you have finished a short or long rest.

    Undying Nature
    prerequisite: 10th level
    You can hold your breath indefinitely. You no longer require food, water, or sleep, although you still require a Long Rest to reduce exhaustion and still benefit from Short and Long rests.
    In addition, for every 10 years that pass, your body only ages 1 year, and you are immune to being magically aged.

    Fiendish Resilience
    prerequisite: 10th level
    Whenever you take a short or long rest, you may choose a damage type. You gain resistance to this damage type until you choose another type with this feature. Magical or silver weapons ignore this resistance.

    Dark Delirium
    prerequisite: 14th level
    As an action, choose a creature within 60 feet of you. That creature much pass a Wisdom save with a DC equal to 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier. On a failed save it is Charmed or Frightened by you for one minute or until you lose concentration (as though concentrating on a spell), or until it takes any damage.
    Until the effect ends, the creature believes it is lost in a mist real, the appearance of which you choose. It can see and hear only itself, you, and the illusion.
    You must finish a short or long rest before you can use this ability again.

    Hex Speaker
    You can cast hex.
    You can use this ability twice, per short or long rest.

    Unholy Darkness
    You can cast darkness.
    You can use this ability twice per short or long rest.

    Eldritch Admixtures
    Admixtures allow you to change the properties of your eldritch blast. You may take this Invocation multiple times, choosing a new admixture each time. The save DC against your admixtures is equal to 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Charisma. Unless noted, additional effects are only added once per casting (not per beam/hit)
    • Thundering Blast - changes from Force to Thunder damage. Target is pushed back 5 feet per hit.
    • Fiery Blast - changes from Force to Fire damage. The target burns for 1d4 rounds, taking 1d6 damage at the end of each of its turns.
    • Poisonous Blast - changes from Force to Poison damage. The target must pass a Constitution save or be poisoned. Poisoned targets take 1d10 additional Poison damage at the start of each of their turns. They may attempt to end the effect with a successful Constitution save at the end of their turn.
    • Terrifying Blast - changes from Force to Psychic damage. The target must pass a Wisdom save, or fears you until the start of your next turn.
    • Chilling Blast - changes from Force to Cold damage. The target has their speed reduced by 5 feet per hit.
    • Devouring Blast - changes from Force to Acid damage. The target's AC is reduced by -1 per hit, as their defenses dissolve
    • Blinding Blast - changes from Force to Radiant damage. The target must pass a Dexterity save to look away, or be Blinded until the start of your next turn.
    • Shocking Blast - changes from Force to Lightning damage. Choose an additional target within 5 feet of the original target. That target also takes 1d10 Lightning damage as the bolt arcs between the two.
    • Withering Blast - changes from Force to Necrotic damage. The target is ages by 1 year per blast, until a remove curse removes this effect.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Orc in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2015

    Default Re: Variant (Spell-less) Warlock

    Well we didn't get off on the right foot just in that first few statements. I couldn't disagree more that the PHB warlock is "a mess." It does its thing, and it does it pretty well. It's pretty straight-forward about what you get at each level, too, so I'm not sure what got lost there.
    However, I'm not just here to object to your reasoning. Homebrew is hard work, and I can tell that you put quite a bit of effort here.

    I'll start with some things I found interesting. Particularly with the Pact of the Chain. I like the whole "you summon a bigger thing" feature. Like Moon druids (actually come to think of it I think it is almost the same progression of CR......)! I also like the change to EB, making it only progress with warlock levels. That's a good thing, since a 2-level dip is prevented this way. It really should have been a warlock feature all the way though(instead of calling it a cantrip), since you make it a mandatory pick.

    Now here's my chiefest complaint:
    All you've done here is shuffle the class, and take away the best thing (short rest slots).
    There's not much new stuff. Seriously, if you don't believe me, look again. You've swapped the Boon-related invocations with the Patron features. So now instead of getting patron specific stuff automatically (and boon stuff optionally), we get boon stuff automatically and patrons stuff optionally. This means that now we have three types of "workable" (what does that even mean? that is a completely different essay) warlock: the one that blasts A LOT, the one that summons monsters, and the one that blasts and smacks.
    A lot of people complain about the "invocation taxes" imposed on the warlock. I tend to agree with those complaints, and it seems that you do too. Am I correct that your Blade Pact archetype was to fix that? Because it certainly does fix bladelock related invocation tax. But what if I really want to emphasize the Patron side of being a warlock? What if I want Fey things? Well, suddenly there's an "invocation tax" for those features, and I have to pick them in order to get the flavor I want.

    See where I'm going? Previously, your big choice is Patron, not boon. Now, the situation is reversed, not solved. Per PHB, people who want to really gain the most from their Boon have to take Thirsting Blade or Book of Ancient Secrets. With yours, people who want to gain the most from their Patron have to take Hurl Through Hell or Entropic Riposte. In either case, people end up ignoring fun-but-less-optimal invocations like Ascendant Step (free jump) or Eyes of the Runekeeper in favor of the "required" ones.

    My second complaint is the spell slots thing. I mean, the caster version of the "warlock" is just another 1/3 caster. The reason why this is a problem is because the warlock spell list is balance around the frequency at which they can cast. But now that you've stripped the warlock of his unique slots, he has the WORST spell list in the whole system.
    Additionally, tell me if I'm wrong here, but it's called Pact of the Tome, and you don't even get your tome until 6th level!?! What?!

    Asmodeus: You've been an effective pawn. As a means of improving your effectiveness further, I grant you the Boon of the Tome. It will act as a spellbook, of sorts, as you serve me. You will be able to bend the Weave to your will!
    Warlock: F*** yeah, this is totally worth my soul!
    Asmodeus:
    Warlock:
    Asmodeus:
    Warlock: So where's the book?
    Asmodeus: Not yet. *snaps fingers* but you can cast these three spells now. Have fun! Don't murder too many people (I have to rule someone)!

    Yeah it doesn't make sense.


    tl;dr
    Pact of the Blade seems cool mechanically, but it is bland.
    New Bladelock: 3.5/5 Stars
    Pact of the Chain got a huge upgrade. Great addition!
    New Chainlock: 5/5 Stars
    Pact of the Tome.... booooooooo.... It's just another 1/3 caster, and I can't shake the feeling it should be so much more.
    New Tomelock: 1/5 Stars
    Appreciation of Effort: +0.5 Stars
    Final Verdict: 3.7/5 Stars

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    PirateCaptain

    Join Date
    Sep 2016

    Default Re: Variant (Spell-less) Warlock

    Thanks for the reply.
    I'm not sure if you read the post I linked to, but this was intended to be a Warlock who focuses more on Invocations, and is otherwise almost entirely spell-less. So taking away the best part (being their recoverable spell slots) was actually the whole point. I can't really give those back. I could give them back (somewhat) to the Pact of the Tome, since I kept them as a caster, but that's really about as far as that would go.
    In exchange, I tried to make Eldritch Blast a bit more "spell like" and add some utility to it. They also kept all of the 'freebie' spells that they get from Invocations, and if there are spells that should be added, then that's probably the direction I would go.

    In truth, the recoverable slots thing isn't something that I particularly care for unless you use the Spell Points optional rules. 2-3 slots per short rest is just kinda boring, when you figure that one of those is going to get eaten up by Hex almost every time. So yeah, they get slots, but it's not like I've ever seen a Warlock really do much with them. All their damage and most of their strategy is tied up in Eldritch Blast.

    Swapping Boons and Patrons emphasis
    This was done intentionally, and was intended to fix a few things -

    1. I since I was doing away with casting, I wanted to leave in one standard caster. I decided to make this Tome, since it fits the fluff of Tome being the most "arcane-y" bookish of the three. It would be strange to say that the other boons just get a fancy sword, and a familiar, and then Tome gets a whole casting progression. So I ended up with 3 subclasses based on the boons.

    2. With bigger, better, boons - that meant that Patrons got a bit squeezed. I could have kept the Patrons as huge entities I suppose, but then you're getting what feels a whole lot more like 9 subclasses rather than 3 subclasses and a boon.

    3. I had a choice between putting the Patron stuff and the new Boon stuff into the Invocations. Looking at it, the Boon stuff would be more of a "tax" to make an invocation. Why wouldn't you want Extra Attack or War Magic as a BladeLock? Why wouldn't you want the better summons as a Chain? On the other hand you have... "nobody can read your mind without asking first" and "go have a closet-talk with your enemy." The fact that these were also 10th and 14th level 'perks' was laughable. If a player wants the 'flavor' of being sworn and beholden to a Fey, then they can take the associated Invocations to get those abilities. But if a player wants to make a viable BladeLock, I'm not going to 'tax' them a handful of extra Invocations just to keep up with other classes.
    Mechanically, people say that they are BladeLock, or a TomeLock, or ChainLock. The Boon and attendant Invocations are what usually define a Warlock more than their Patron, because all of the "crunch" is tied to the Boon. This just sets those distinctions up as the actual subclasses, and puts the Patrons in as flavorfull goodies out on the fringe.

    I also freed it up so that you can stack the classic Pact choices a bit. More freedom of choice. For example, how does Dark Delirium seem like a strictly Fey ability? Couldn't you stuff them in a pocket dimension of fire and brimstone and have that chat, or float them in a sea of pale stars and writhing Cthulhu-tentacles?

    Taking Away the Slotted Spells
    I already sorta covered this with the fact that most of this was built with the intention of getting rid of Spells and shifting the focus to the Invocations. I kept the Pact of the Tome as a caster just because it made sense. I made it a 3rd Caster just because you get the spells at your 3rd level. It would be weird to jump into a full casting progression late.

    Recoverable magic is what made the Warlock unique, but like I mentioned earlier - their slots were so limited that it just really never shined through. There are several threads open right now in the 5e section asking about how to rebalance Warlock slots so that they can do a little more with them. Spell Points is the best option, but it feels weird to write something that would essentially be the only class which is forced to work on spell points.

    To me, the Warlock has always been sort of like the Eldritch Knight - you get a smattering of spells, but your bread-and-butter is still an at-will ability. In the case of the Warlock, that's Eldritch Blast. So the TomeLock here is sort of meant to represent that. You get a smattering of spells, and the rest of the subclass is designed to be the best at just blasting away with EB. It's the Champion Fighter of the three - just keep spamming the same attack and you'll prevail. At least now, it's optional to play that way.

    I suppose that I could add in the higher level spells as locked Invocations, but that's putting a tax on the Tomelock then (could call it revenge though). Or, I could just jump them into the standard Warlock progression starting at 3rd level, which would be odd but would be "what we know." I'm just worried that it would make them somewhat OP to mix that with the stuff they can pull from Invocations.

    As far as not getting your Tome until 6th level... it's just naming. I could rename it away from Pact of the Tome and call it Pact of Knowledge or something like that, but I was trying to keep everything stuck in with how it appears in the PHB so that people had a frame of reference.
    ---

    How do you suggest I spice up the BladeLock? You said that it's mechanically interesting, but still bland somehow. I did write in any fluff or anything - I just tried to write what I think people want to mechanically play when they pick Blade, without giving them all the cake and totally invalidating things like Valor Bards, Bladesinger Wizards, and Paladins in the "gish" department.

    How would you fix the TomeLock in this context?
    "If it's just Dailies done, they'll press on; Fighter cussing monsters, Ranger and Rogue cussing Fighter, and the Cleric cussing everyone. They're only down to about 70% HAIR (hard a** indicative rating) anyway, and probably have yet to run across any sand-paper"

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Orc in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2015

    Default Re: Variant (Spell-less) Warlock

    I think you and I could be friends. Thanks for explaining thoroughly and thoughtfully! I definitely understand more now.

    Basically you've put the flavor where the crunch was already. The more I think about it, the more I'm inclined to see this as less of an inversion of the problem. More like a reorientation to align the mechanics with the fluff.

    I can probably get on board with that.

    Also, I totally agree that PHB warlock has some pretty terrible "high level" features. As it is, basically only the Fiendlock is any good mechanically. If you go Fiend Tomelock, that's as optimal as it gets.

    Anyway, in answer to your questions at the bottom

    How do you suggest I spice up the BladeLock? You said that it's mechanically interesting, but still bland somehow. I did write in any fluff or anything - I just tried to write what I think people want to mechanically play when they pick Blade, without giving them all the cake and totally invalidating things like Valor Bards, Bladesinger Wizards, and Paladins in the "gish" department.
    So first up, your Bladelock is still pretty MAD. And, though I'm sure it is intended, you didn't include the clause about being proficient in your pact weapon. This is taking ages because I've retyped this paragraph three times. So right now, your bladelock has to choose (I shall assume high CON for durability or WIS for the Save) between hitting often and hard with EB or often and hard with the pact weapon. This wouldn't be an issue, except that the bladelock (in yours and PHB) is unique in that you kinda need two high stats (STR/DEX and CHA) to be effective. Wizards and Clerics get away with this because their spells are DOPE (fullcaster FTW), while Paladins and Rangers work because they have spells that just augment their martial prowess (generally with spells that don't depend too much on their casting stat). So I think that your pact weapon should be a shillelagh. Use CHA+Prof for attacks, and CHA for damage. It is a super common house rule to fix the PHB bladelock, so I think it works great here.

    I like that you included EB being melee-castable later on. However, given that this archetype never gets Agonizing Blast, I think they should get this whole feature sooner. What will it really break? It's just a less-damage-but-free version of the monk's Martial Arts feature, basically.

    As a side note: what's with the "this counts as Arcane Focus" bit? EB doesn't need material components, so that feature only helps multiclass builds.

    How would you fix the TomeLock in this context?
    Make him a mini wizard. This is my favorite ever flavor of warlock: the wizard who went for a shortcut. Not the power-hungry sell-my-soul-for-power type, not the whoops-now-I'm-insane tentacle type. You've got the Chain/Bladelock for those types, with this new warlock.

    Give him his book straight away, and allow him to put spells in it according to wizard rules (but warlock spell list). Give him Arcane Recovery (this way he is unique among 1/3 casters, and has an echo of the old 'lock). At level six, give him the ability to copy rituals (and only rituals) from any spell list (what you have already at that level). I like having the miniature spell mastery brought from wizard.

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